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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 02.06.2020, 02:21

Lithuania's chief auditor warns president on independence, EU sanctions

BC, Vilnius, 19.09.2019.Print version
Lithuania's Auditor General Arunas Dulkys warned the country's President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday about the growing threat to the independence of the National Audit Office and potential EU financial sanctions Lithuania could face because of that, writes LETA/BNS.

Dulkys says the law, adopted earlier this year and stipulating that staff for the National Audit Office is selected by the Civil Service Department, undermines the Office's independence.

"I told the president I feel like being under siege since January. My hands are tied in terms of staff management," Dulkys told after his meeting with Nauseda.

"If the European Commission has doubts on whether independent employees carried out audits at the National Audit Office, the European Commission might take action on halting funding for Lithuania," the auditor general warned.

In his words, the National Audit Office's independence is very important for the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development as it has the function of a fiscal institution assessing the state budget.

In his words, the European Court of Auditors is also closely monitoring the situation around the National Audit Office, and it might attract attention of the European Parliament as well.

The presidential office said after the meeting it might propose amendments to the Law on National Audit Office.

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